I once heard someone say, “Did you hear about John, he went to the candy store and he bought a lot of candy. He can’t help himself.”
When someone says this, “he can’t help himself,” what they are really saying is that their comes a point in a person’s life when their desires overwhelm them and even if they wanted to, they couldn’t stop from making that decision.
We sometimes see this in our society in relation to drugs addiction, alcoholism and other destructive addictions.
But have you ever thought about this in regards to God? Are there some things with God that He can’t help himself but do?
In 2 Timothy 2:11-13 Paul says, “The saying is trustworthy, for: if we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.”
God is Faithful — He Can’t Help Himself
Paul is his letter is trying to encourage Timothy and other followers to remember that God is faithful.
Look at his comparisons:
- If you Died – you will Live,
- If you Endure – you will Reign
- If you Deny him – you will be Denied,
- If you are Faithless – God remains Faithful.
The first three comparisons are equal. You put in an effort and you receive the benefits of that effort. Yet, the last one is unequal. Paul is saying that even when we are faithless, God is faithful. God will always be faithful to you, even when you stumble in your faith. He can’t help himself.
The Bible puts it this way, He cannot deny Himself. God’s very nature is to be faithful to His children. To not be faithful would be to contradict His very nature.
These verses point out to us four things that should be evident in a believer’s life.
1. Dying to Self & the World — if we died
Dying to ourselves has an ultimate reward. The sacrifices we make in this world will have an eternal benefit. Jesus made the greatest sacrifices any one could make. He left His throne in Heaven, poured himself into a human form, lived like a man, died on the cross and received the wrath for our sins.
He died and He rose, so whatever we die to in this world, God will raise up for us a reward that is much better (Philippians 2:9-11)!
2. Winning the Race, Receiving the Crown – if we endure
God wants us to run the race like we want to win: sprinting when we have the abundance of energy; digging deep, when the race gets tiring and the finish line is out of sight.
Enduring through our struggles will give us a place with Jesus in authority and power. This current life is only the beginning of the eternal life.
When Adam was made, he was given dominion (rulership) over God’s creation: the earth. He let that dominion fall from His hands when He disobeyed God.
When Christ came into the world, He emptied Himself and as a man subjected Himself to His creation. Jesus’ obedience to God restored Man’s dominion over God’s creation — the earth. But Jesus also elevated man to have dominion over all that God has created, both in the physical and the spiritual.
Do you know that:
- we will judge angels (1 Corinthians 6:3),
- we will rule and reign with Him (Revelation 20:6),
- we will become One with Christ, as displayed in the mystery of the church (Revelation 19:9, Ephesians 5:32).
3. Living for Christ, Boldly – if we deny him
Denying Christ is the proof that we don’t belong to Him. No one can say Jesus Christ is Lord except by the Spirit, and no one can say Jesus is accursed unless there is another spirit at work in them (1 Corinthians 12:3).
What about Peter? Peter did deny Jesus, but that was because he lacked the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of him. Up until that time, the Spirit was at work outside of man, but on the day of Pentecost, the Spirit filled Peter and he could not deny Jesus Christ, ever again!
The best evidence of a true believer is how they live their life. Though we see people denying Christ with their lives and even some who blatantly deny Christ with their words, it doesn’t mean that we are not to pray for God to change these peoples heart.
Peter is the best example, Jesus said to Peter that Satan made a request to “sift you like wheat.” Jesus was talking about a satanic effort to destroy Peter’s life and faith through his denial of Jesus. Jesus said, “But I have prayed for you.” Luke 22:31
When we see people denying Jesus by their words and actions, we need to pray for them. Perhaps, God may turn them and use them to glorify his name. Oh yeah, do remember Saul of Tarsus, how a prayer from Stephen was heard by God and Saul, the persecutor of Christians, became Paul the Apostle, persecuted for Christ?
4. God is Faithful – if we are faithless
We can never stop God from His faithfulness, it is part of His nature. That’s like the sun not giving off its light. That’s like water, not being wet. God is a very emotional God. He is grieved, he is angered, and he takes action — sometimes quickly, other times, he patiently waits.
God loves us so much that He gives what we don’t deserve. Sometimes we loose faith in our finances and we pray, but our prayers are weak and barely have faith. Or we pray and then turn back to worry when the collection calls come in or a foreclosure process starts (Mark 11:24, Matthew 21:22, James 1:5-8).
Then God opens up an opportunity, or you receive an unexpected check. Or a loved one or friend blesses you with finances or blesses you with something you really needed. Or you lose the house and God takes you to a new neighborhood to be used for his glory — a testimony to God’s peace and love, despite circumstances.
God wants us to be faithful to him, but wants us to know that when we stumble in our belief that He is still at work in our lives. Sometimes we have to say, like the father of the demon filled boy, “Lord, I do believe, help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).
God is faithful, he can’t help himself.